Sunshine Week 2018

Sunshine Week is once again upon us!

For those of you who don’t know, Sunshine Week is an annual initiative of the National Sunlight Foundation that seeks to spark dialogue on government transparency and freedom of information.

Living in Massachusetts, we know firsthand how important openness and transparency is to good government. Our state has received an “F” rating for its lack of transparency from the Open State project. This comes on the heels of the legislature’s continued refusal to publish all committee votes and allow the public time to review bills before they vote on them.

Last year we caught up with Freshman State Senator Julian Cyr to ask him to explain why he cast his first vote as an elected senator for a pay raise for himself and others. His response was somewhat lacking.

This year, we’d like to bring your attention to a recent digital education campaign we launched regarding special interest-paid trips by state lawmakers. An expose by WCVB found that dozens of lawmakers had taken special interest-funded “junkets” to exotic locations such as Israel, Taiwan, Turkey, Saint Thomas, and the Azores.

Of particular note was Democratic State Senator Marc Pacheco of Taunton. Pacheco, who recently voted himself a 121% raise that hiked his yearly salary to over $154,000 a year, has taken 28 trips since 2014.

We made sure that Senator Pacheco’s constituents knew what he was up to.

Justice Louis Brandeis had it right when he told us that sunlight is the best disinfectant, and your team at MassFiscal will continue to ensure that plenty of sunlight shines on Beacon Hill, this week and beyond.

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